Mother’s Day will be here before we know it and I can guarantee that most mothers would adore a getaway with you more than any other present you can imagine. Hotels and resorts are perfectly lovely, but there is nothing as comfortable, charming, and unique as a stay at a quality Bed and Breakfast location. Fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, comfy beds, and a full gourmet breakfast make them the perfect choice for that special trip. Here are some of my favorite choices – now make your own reservation!
1. Villa D’Citta in Chicago, Illinois: You will have plenty of choices for places to stay in the Windy City, but this gorgeous Chicago Greystone in the middle of the luxurious Lincoln Park neighborhood should be your first choice. Park in the garage (a former carriage house), then walk through the outside grotto and climb up the winding metal staircase up to a large, outside hot tub. You’ll also find the lovely and very comfortable lounge area with a fireplace that adjoins the dining area and the large kitchen. Ride the elevator up to the next floor to the Grand Tuscan suite because, believe me, this is where you want to stay. The Grand Tuscan Suite is over 1,000 square feet with a huge bedroom that hosts the biggest, most luxurious bed I have ever seen in addition to a big screen TV, sitting area, fireplace, gorgeous hardwood floors and French doors leading out to a tiny but exquisite terrace. The bathroom has twin sinks, a marble soaking tub, and a full steam shower – there’s even a sink in the shower! There’s also a small bedroom with two twin beds which would be perfect for someone that wanted a little privacy or a great place to store your luggage.
Furnished in an exquisite Italian style, its obvious care can be seen in each selected piece of furniture and artwork in the house. The front door exits onto the street where you can stroll around the neighborhood, finding plenty of local restaurants and shops. Don’t worry about finding a meal unless you really want to because not only is a full, hot and delicious breakfast served every morning, but the kitchen is kept stocked for guests and you are free to help yourself. The fridge is full of cold tea and lemonade, as well as the makings for paninis, pizzas, and waffles, and fresh fruit and freshly baked cookies are always available. A panini maker, pizza oven, and waffle maker are just a few of the incredible amenities here. You are free to use the kitchen to prepare meals or to store takeout food in the fridge.
2. Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins in Carson,Washington: You might not think of a cabin when you consider a Bed and Breakfast location, but you absolutely should, and your first consideration should be to stay at the Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins. All of the cabins are beautifully furnished, but I can personally recommend the Mt. Adams cabin. Located in the stunningly gorgeous Columbia River Gorge only 45 miles east of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, the cabin is close to a number of engaging activities such as hiking trails, waterfalls, wine tastings, fishing, and whitewater rafting. Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins is truly in an idyllic location. Pete Steadman and his wife Latisha own the Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins and have lovingly designed the scenic landscaping and the excellent furnishings in every cabin. A front porch with a porch swing welcomes you to Mt. Adams and provides an amazing view of the surrounding mountains. A king size bed, a huge Jacuzzi tub, and sitting area complete with a warm fireplace make this cabin your home away from home. Relax in the soft, fluffy robes that are given to you, then enjoy a hot gourmet breakfast basket that is delivered right to your door!
3. The Inns at El Rancho Merlita in Tucson, Arizona: The Inns at El Rancho Merlita in Tucson are tucked neatly away in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. Once you drive up the driveway that wends past the desert and through the lovely gates, peace and quiet envelops you. Pretty soon, you find that the history of this gem bed and breakfast location is just as fascinating as the surrounding serenity.
In the 1950s, Tucson was a quiet small town in the middle of the desert when Merle Norman, the cosmetics queen, bought a big tract of land off an old cattle trail. She then commissioned her brother to design a brilliant ranch house that would be low and sprawling so it would stay cool in the desert heat. It would also have brick walls, a red tile roof, and huge picture windows displaying the outstanding views of both the desert and the mountains that surround Tucson. A long verandah would stretch across the front of the house and overlook a huge lawn and a beautiful swimming pool. That’s exactly what you’ll see when you pull in through the ornate iron gates of this charming palace. Merle Norman used the estate to entertain family, friends and many of the employees of the cosmetics empire for years. In 2004, Diana Kuhel Osborne acquired the property and, retaining the ranch house’s original feel and design, transformed it into a Bed and Breakfast location.
We stayed in the Ranch House Inn in the Spanish Colonial room. With furniture of a Spanish influence, a huge bathroom with an equally huge tub and a walk-in closet, it’s a wonderful place to relax. A lovely, cool terrace area is right outside the Spanish Colonial room and overlooks the desert landscape of the back yard. The inside of the Ranch House Inn is just as stunning as the rest of the property. It’s a cozy setup and you are welcome to relax in the comfortable Western-themed living room. The view from the breakfast table every morning after a fresh, hot breakfast was also a highlight.
4. Henderson Park Inn in Destin, Florida: If it’s a beach getaway for you and mom, look no further than the snow white sands and emerald waters of Destin, Florida and the lovely Henderson Park Inn. A truly beautiful place, the Henderson Park Inn reminds you of a New England inn with its gray cedar shakes, lovely wooden floors, oriental carpets and luxurious furnishings. That makes sense because Bill and Steve Abbott, the original designers, grew up in Maine and were very fond of the New England hotels where breakfast and lunch were provided and no service was spared for the guests. Arrange a stay in the Presidential Suite if you can – it’s amazing.
With a fridge fully stocked with bottled water, soda, and an array of candy bars, a fully appointed living room with a flat screen TV, an office area with a big desk, a dining table, and a wooden deck complete with furniture to view the astonishing beach, this suite is heaven on earth. Because the Inn is located right beside Henderson State Park, it creates what looks like an unending vista of beach, which is particularly gorgeous at sunset. The separate bedroom has a huge king size bed and beautiful, dark wood furniture with plenty of space to sit and read or enjoy the beach through the second set of French doors that open onto the long deck. A bottle of wine, fresh grapes and some fresh flowers are provided for all guests as well as a nightly turn-down service. Free bikes are available, as well as the complimentary beach towels and chairs (a real rarity at the beach) and cookies and lemonade in the afternoons. Not only will you get a fabulous breakfasts complete with a buffet and omelet bar, they also provide you with a delicious boxed lunch! In case you missed grabbing a drink or candy bar out of your fridge in the Presidential Suite, you can grab one out of the community fridge in the lobby which is kept stocked. A complimentary happy hour every evening and a free library of DVDs means you may never want to leave this place.
Be sure to make a reservation for dinner at The Beachwalk Cafe. Located in the dining room with huge windows that overlook the incredible ocean view, the food here is just unbelievably good.
5. Forsyth Park Inn in Savannah, Georgia: There is no lack of wonderful places to stay in the city but the Forsyth Park Inn in the historic district of Savannah should be your first choice. Located right on the largest park in the historic district covering 30 acres, and one of the most beautiful in the city, this extraordinary bed and breakfast is where you will experience that southern hospitality. Enjoy the view of Forsyth Park from the rocking chairs lined up on the large, columned verandah or venture out into the park to enjoy walking paths, a fountain built in 1858, reading, people watching, sunbathing, or the Farmers Market on Saturdays. Within walking distance of the Savannah River and River Street, where there are dozens of interesting little shops and restaurants, as well as antique shops, theaters, historic mansions, and anything else you might want to experience, the Forsyth Park Inn is in a great location.
The Inn is a sprawling 1893 Queen Anne Victorian mansion which typifies the style with its ornate window and roof pediments and deep verandah. The interior is just as beautiful, hosting spectacular woodwork which includes 14-foot ceilings, 12-foto doors, a magnificent grand staircase, and dark parquetry floors throughout. The Inn has 10 guest rooms that are individually decorated to complement the style of the mansion. Many have sitting areas, fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs in the bathrooms. On a recent visit with two girlfriends, we stayed in Room #3 which has two queen beds, a fireplace and sitting area, a whirlpool tub, and an incredible view of the park. There is also a garden cottage in the back overlooking the pet-friendly courtyard and has a full kitchen that would be perfect for a longer visit to the city. All the rooms have televisions, telephones with data ports, Wi-Fi, hair dryers, lightweight spa robes, special soaps, and shampoos. One of the many advantages to choosing a bed and breakfast is that the included breakfasts are often wonderful and the Forsyth Park Inn had particularly enthralling offerings each morning.
Breakfast is served each morning beginning at 8:30am. Guests are assigned a time to prevent overcrowding in the parlor or on the verandah. A buffet features homemade granola or oatmeal, an assortment of breakfast breads and muffins, yogurt, and juice. Then, seasonal fruit is served followed by a full gourmet breakfast of such offerings as Florentine Eggs Benedict or Fresh Fruit-Stuffed French Toast. The menu for the following morning is posted every day so you can look forward to the next morning’s menu! In the evening, beverages and hors d’oeuvres are served in the parlor, and guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy the view from the verandah or in the private garden courtyard around back. Tasty sweets are available in the late evening for a snack before bed. The staff at the Forsyth Park Inn exemplified the hospitality of the city with their friendly manner and helpfulness. They are available to help with booking tours, making dinner reservations, or getting tickets to entertainment venues.
So when you are making plans for the very special Mother’s Day getaway, don’t forget a Bed and Breakfast location; you will be so glad you planned a visit with one in mind!